Difficulties…

My old friend in the buckle of the bible belt continues to write about her recent deconversion.  Head over to her blog and lend her some props.  Let her know there’s a community that supports her.


Difficulties …

This blog has caused me some unforeseen difficulties.

I have had many people express gratitude for keeping it real, and for being so open and honest. It feels great to know that so many people have found comfort in what I’ve been able to share. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to touch people’s lives, if only briefly.

I’m having some difficulties. I guess I should have seen this coming. When my husband first started down this path, I really with everything in me believed he’d “be back.” That he’d find the Truth (i.e. God) and we’d have a good laugh about his little “atheist time” over wine one night. Plus, I was happy in my life with my God. I really and truly did not want to know that there was a possibility that He wasn’t real.

Finally I asked myself this: “What am I afraid of?” I have Truth on my side, so no matter how much I search, I’ll always find that all truth points back to the source of truth: God. So, I allowed myself to openly search, question, and even doubt. Of course, that led me here.

So how could I not have seen this coming? I have many friends who are very happy where they are. I am the one “shaking the boat” and it’s causing a great uncomfortable feeling when I see them. I’m not sure if it’s them or me … but I know the name of the white elephant in the room: Atheism. I’ve also been in awkward group situations where one person is openly saying how much they’ve enjoyed my blog, loudly enough to be heard by many others who I know hold their respective religions very tightly. And they turn to look … and I just don’t know what they are thinking! I am so very uncomfortable because of course I assume it’s something like: YOU did this! YOU started my friend down this path. YOU have diluted her faith … etc. Also, I KNOW some people don’t support my decision, and it just makes it so incredibly uncomfortable in group settings when someone wants to talk about my blog. I had not seen that coming!

Another difficulty is this: along this journey I have dedicated myself to the study of the Bible (not a study book ABOUT the Bible, or a sermon ON the Bible, but the Bible itself – front to back and beginning to end). I have also picked up a textbook on the origins of the NT. I’ve also begun researching physics to better understand the origins of the universe. My next step is to study logic, to better sharpen the one tool I have in this journey, my brain. This journey has led to the most intensive study I’ve done since college. Therefore I naturally have a lot of information on the subject. When I talk to friends who don’t have as much information, I come across condescending. I’m not sure how to debate my friends who maybe have not read the same things I have, but I know that I’m losing some of them because of it. And this makes me sad.

Another difficulty: I’m confused, and honestly getting kind of annoyed … I have followed many debates on Facebook, and there is an unmistakable trend: status update, followed by comment from well-meaning friend1 containing some sort of mis-information, followed by argument from well-meaning friend2 hoping to clear up mis-information but admittedly doing it in a blunt in-your-face manner, followed by well-meaning friend1 never rebutting original argument. In short: those arguing against a god are well-spoken and well-reasoned and well-cited and well-researched; those arguing for a god are “not interested in debating” or just “don’t want to argue.” But as Christians, shouldn’t this be a huge priority??? Why are the atheists willing to put in more time than the Christians, who have much more to “sell” – like life eternal? I know that was one reason I started down this path. I thought well, what do I have to lose (or what am I afraid of?)? “Someone has to set these atheists straight!” But it’s just not happening. I’m STILL waiting for the big KAPOW from some Christian somewhere, where we [atheists] all go, oh good, I was HOPING there was a God! But it just hasn’t happened. I’m just confused and kinda annoyed at the lackadaisical attitude of the Theists as a whole. Or maybe I’m just seeing it wrong.

I didn’t mean to end on a down note. I stopped blogging because the blog in general has caused some uncomfortable situations and some negative feelings and anxieties for me. I’m going to try to continue, because it is such an important topic and I know there are a lot of people out there who need to know that they are not alone, they are not crazy, and it’s OK to be an atheist!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Erulora Erulóra Maikalambe

    those arguing for a god are “not interested in debating” or just “don’t want to argue.” But as Christians, shouldn’t this be a huge priority???

    Yes.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

    Emphasis mine.

    • Havok

      Erulóra Maikalambe , there is nothing in that passage which indicates that the reasons must be true.

  • http://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com Susannah

    Another difficulty is this: along this journey I have dedicated myself to the study of the Bible (not a study book ABOUT the Bible, or a sermon ON the Bible, but the Bible itself – front to back and beginning to end). I have also picked up a textbook on the origins of the NT.

    The first is what started me on the road to atheism. The second is what led me the last few steps.

    Whenever I talk to Christians these days, I always come back to, “Read your Bible!”


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